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  • Writer's pictureeschaden

Hard Time...

My least favorite day of the year happens tomorrow. We fuck with the clocks and make my entire world a wreck. I loathe the time change. It depresses me that it will soon be dark at 5 pm. Since I am very chicken like in my waking and sleeping, I need the light to keep me on schedule and now everything in my world will be altered and I will struggle.

Winter is hard time for me. Always has been. There are things that I like about it but losing the light is not one of them. Every November I feel like I am sentenced to hard time and I am never, ever happy about it.

This is a stark contrast to when I was a kid and the thought of getting another hour in a day made me buoyant and happy. I loathed Spring as a kid because we “lost” an hour. I guess my inner world was not so much ruled by the passing of light in a day back then...or I was more easily misled with the promise of school being delayed even by an hour.

Today, I will enjoy my last day of freedom before my light shortening sentence begins tomorrow. I will try to stay positive and use the darkness to go within and search out the black corners of my soul to see where I might be able to dig a little deeper and uncover those parts of me that I have been very successful in not addressing. But I have to say that I am not happy about it at all. Oh, I will read and binge watch Netflix with my kids. I will get excited about fires in the fireplace and hot cocoa. I will be excited to decorate for the holidays and I will really look forward to some down time when my kids take off to see their dad for 10 days. But make no mistake about it, there will be an underlying discontent in me until the light returns in March. I will not so quietly resent the pall of darkness across my life. I will bemoan my plight a little too often and will likely annoy others in my melancholy over the shortness of days.

I do love Fall. Especially East Coast fall. There is nothing like it. I love the smell of leaves, and fireplaces. Pumpkins and spice. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love that the only thing we do on this day is eat together and give thanks for all the wonderful blessings in our lives. This year my birthday is on Thanksgiving and I love that! A whole day all to myself that I can focus on all the gifts in my life, including being born. I will be on a 10 day road trip to New Mexico and I am so excited. I will miss spending it with my family but I am excited to be taking off to see sites I haven’t seen in a long time.

So while I am going to be doing hard time these next few months, I am going to try to have a better attitude about it. I am going to try to be grateful for the time change that forces me within. I am going to see if I can slow down and enjoy the darkness because I am promised that the light will return. And in this most fucked up year, that is something to look forward to...

Hard time gives one time to think and assess and go deeper than usual because your options are limited. I am going to try to alter my thought process that beginning tomorrow, I am doing hard time and serving a sentence of darkness, instead thinking that I going within and retreating. It is hard paradigm shift for me. I really hate the lack of light. My entire biology hates the time change. I will be a mess for at least a month if the past is any indicator. Lethargic, moody and down. But I have learned that these (even though I don’t like them) are emotions I can use to show me new things about myself that I have been avoiding or just glancing over.

Hard time is given for reflection. That is the whole purpose of a sentence. To remove one from the general public and cause them to have nothing but time so as to bring about a change in perspective about one’s own conduct and life. Since I will now want to go to bed at 7 pm and not wake up until 6 am, I will be effectively removed from circulation. And it would appear that I will similarly be given time to reflect on my life and my conduct. And I can really focus on my past actions because I will be asleep for most of the fall and winter so there will be a lot less new conduct to interfere in my retrospection.

I am trying to be at least hopeful about the darkness coming. But I would be lying if I said I was excited about the hard time coming. I already miss the light and it hasn’t even really begun. The shortness of days more poignant as I age as I am consciously aware that every moment counts.

So tomorrow I begin the journey inward, slowing down the pace and cadence of my life. Forgive my shitty attitude next week, I will be trying super hard to maintain an outward appearance of grace, but internally I will be pissed off and irritated that I can’t hike after work and that I will feel by 7 pm, I am at least two hours past my bedtime.

Hard time...I am praying that with intention and purpose I can transform it into something better for me this year. A retreat instead of just a hard sentence. I am really going to try...but the struggle will be real when so much of me just wants to say...see you in the Spring and hibernate until March. That is really my best thought about this time of year, to just be bear-like and sleep it off. But that is a pleasure of animals (yet another one) that I cannot participate in. I am going to try to be grateful...really. I am going to do my best to not think of it as only hard time giving me a hard time...

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